Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu urged Greece to get its defense minister, Panos Kammenos, under control, referring to him as their “spoiled brat,” the NTV news website reported on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Turkish Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy, Çavuşoğlu touched on disputes between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean.
Çavuşoğlu urged Athens to refrain from steps that would escalate tensions in the region.
“We will not allow faits accomplis in the Aegean. We remind everyone of our parliament’s decision while our coast guard and naval forces keep doing what needs to be done vis-à-vis any negative actions,” Çavuşoğlu said, referring to a 1995 declaration of the Turkish parliament that had authorized action, not excluding military action, to safeguard Turkish interests.
“And we have a warning for Greece. You have a spoiled brat. That’s what they call their defense minister. Watch your spoiled brat so that our security forces do not get involved in possible accidents. This is a totally friendly warning. Rhetoric heightening the tensions or actions taken out of the blue such as trying to land on a rocky islet will not earn you anything,” Çavuşoğlu told assembled guests at the academy.
In January 2018 the Turkish Coast Guard had blocked Kammenos from approaching a pair of islets in the Aegean.
The countries regularly spar over the possible expansion of Greek territorial waters to 12 miles to the west of the country, a sensitive issue between the two neighbors and NATO allies who have also been at odds over other issues such as airspace, the continental shelf, the ethnically split Cyprus and offshore mineral rights for decades.
However, this is not the first time Çavuşoğlu referred to Kammenos as such. He had also used the expression back in February 2017 during another war of words over the disputed Kardak islets.